Bible Ballistics: Incongruity? 10/06/13 Vol. 2 No.21
Incongruity? A strange topic to address today but something has been weighing on my mind and this is the word that describes my thought.
Incongruous—“not in harmony or keeping with the surroundings or other aspects of something”. To put it another way, to ‘be out of step’ with what should be. Hence our topic for today.
After spending a bit of time this week looking at the “social media”, it occurred to me that for many, it is a place of incongruity. A place where people in just a few short “posts” state, reveal and talk about “things of God”, things supposedly inspirational, supposedly encouraging for themselves and others, and then a few lines later, post, picture and/or reveal items of a lewd nature, words that shouldn’t be heard from a person desiring to reflect Jesus.
Why have we resorted to this method of communication? I think there a several answers, but one appears to be, a replacement for genuine relationship and real communication.
It also seems to create an alleviation of personal responsibility, as if I can say, show or reveal anything I desire regardless of its hurtful, harmful or cruel nature with no conscience of how it will affect others or my testimony. Is there a Biblical response to this? Let’s search it out.
1 Corinthians 15:58 says, “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.”
Paul calls us to be steadfast and unmoveable—in other words unflinching, sure and anchored to truth. In our character to “always” abound in God’s work and ways.
1 Corinthians 10:31, “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.”
Doing ALL that we do to God’s glory— Every word (spoken or written), every deed (real or virtual), every action (in the flesh or on the internet). Every contact with others (family, friends, co-workers even those that we encounter casually) is to reflect the glory of God. Quite a standard isn’t it?
An even more simple command is found in Proverbs 17:17, “A friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.”
And Proverbs 18:24 says, “A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.”
Simply stated I must BE a friend to have a friend, and
“He that covereth a transgression seeketh love; but he that repeateth a matter separateth very friends.” Proverbs 17:9.
We are to be healers not hurters. Simply put—you probably DON’T have 1,875 friends!!!! If you have one real friend you are abundantly blessed. But “friending and unfriending” are trends of a nation/world that is focused on ME not others, especially GOD.
What about the Internet? Isn’t that free reign? Or is God to be the overriding standard even on Facebook, MySpace, twitter, email, and any and every source of influence that I may have in the world?
2 Peter 1:3, “According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:”
And Phil 3:9-10, “And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: 10 That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;”
When we come to receive Jesus as our Lord and Savior He gives us power to overcome the baser elements of our nature, to walk in His righteousness NOT our own. Romans 8:28-29 tells us that we are being continually conformed to His image, while Romans 12:1-2 calls us to present our bodies unto God to continually be made more like Him and live pleasing unto Him. 2 Cor. 5:21 tells us it is by Christ’s atoning death for our sin that we overcome, not by anything that I can do on my own. By His blood we are made the “righteousness of God in Christ Jesus”
Romans 8:28-29, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. 29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.”
Romans 12:1-2, “ I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”
2 Corinthians 5:21, “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.”
So what does all this have to do with media, God and me? Let’s see if we can pull it all together.
1 Peter 1:2-3 says, “Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently: 23 Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.”
When we are born again, it is of incorruptible seed, by the word of God, and we are to purify our souls through obedience. This produces love of the brethren (and of all). When scripture calls us to ‘love’ it is usually the Greek word “agape”, referring to a love that always does that which is best for the recipient of the love. We are called to love others and in that love, to do what is best for them not just ourselves.
Philippians 2:3-4 says, “Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. 4 Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others”.
We are to consider the welfare and good of others before ourselves. If I am considerate of the needs of others, including Jesus, I will always do that which is “true… .honest… .just…pure….lovely…of good report … virtuous….praise worthy….” (Phil 4:8, my paraphrase).
I am to be a reflection of Jesus to the world, and try as I may, I can’t find anywhere that Jesus spoke or acted in lewd ways, or did things that were cruel or without feeling. Why would I think it alright to say and do things without conscience or consideration because I’m writing it out of sight of a person’s face or hearing? I am still accountable. (see Romans 14:10-12). I challenge each of us to “examine ourselves” to see if we are “walking worthy of the Lord” in all.